A close up of a very happy Lhasa Apso, with his mouth open and his tongue curled slightly at the end

Lhasa Apso

26 July 2023

So you’re interested in learning more about Lhasa Apsos? Perhaps you’re considering getting one of your own - why not experience the breed first and borrow a pooch in your local area?

Sign up to BorrowMyDoggy today

Or maybe you’re a new Lhasa Apso owner (congratulations on your pup addition!) looking for some extra support. Did you know BorrowMyDoggy connects you with verified and trusted borrowers who can help with exercise and company?

Sign up to browse nearby borrowers

Let’s talk about… Lhasa Apsos: what are they?

  • Lhasa Apsos, also known as the "Lion Dogs," have a long history that dates back to Tibet.
  • These small-sized dogs were originally bred as companion animals for Tibetan monks.
  • Lhasa Apsos were highly regarded in Tibetan culture and were considered sacred. They were believed to bring good luck and were often given as gifts to visitors.
  • They are known for their distinct appearance with a beautiful double coat, including a long, flowing outer coat and a soft undercoat.
  • Lhasa Apsos have an average height of 25-28 cm and typically weigh between 6.8-8.2 kg.
  • They have a relatively long life expectancy of around 12-15 years.
Lhasa Apso  Exercise Needs 2/5 Grooming Ease 2/5 Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Lhasa Apsos like?

  • Lhasa Apsos have a spirited and independent temperament.
  • They are known to be confident, assertive, and sometimes even a bit stubborn.
  • While they are devoted and affectionate with their families, they may be reserved and wary of strangers.
  • Early socialisation is essential to help them feel more comfortable around new people, animals, and situations.
  • These dogs thrive on companionship and enjoy being part of the family.
  • They can do well with older children who understand how to respect their boundaries.
  • Lhasa Apsos may not be the best choice for families with very young children or households with a lot of noise and chaos.
  • They can be quite vocal dogs.
Doggy member Belle, the Lhasa Apso enjoying her morning walkies

How much exercise do Lhasa Apsos need?

  • Lhasa Apsos have relatively low exercise needs compared to some other breeds.
  • They require daily walks and mental stimulation, but their exercise requirements can typically be met with around 30 minutes to 1 hour of activity per day.
  • They are not high-energy dogs but still benefit from regular exercise to keep them fit and mentally engaged.
  • For Lhasa Apso puppies, exercise should be approached with caution.
  • Their growing bodies are delicate, and excessive exercise can put stress on their developing joints and bones.
  • Short play sessions and gentle walks in safe areas are suitable for young puppies.
  • As they mature, their exercise routine can be gradually increased to meet their adult needs.
  • Your vet can advise you on the best exercise routine for your pooch.
Doggy member Casper, the Lhasa Apso, sticking his little tongue out in the garden

Do Lhasa Apsos need a lot of grooming?

  • Yes, Lhasa Apsos require regular grooming to maintain the beauty and health of their coat.
  • Their long, flowing hair needs to be brushed daily to prevent tangles, mats, and debris from accumulating.
  • Regular brushing also helps distribute the natural oils in their coat, keeping it healthy and shiny.
  • In addition to brushing, Lhasa Apsos may need occasional trimming of the hair around their eyes, ears, and paws to prevent irritation and maintain their visibility and mobility.
  • Some owners opt for professional grooming every few months to maintain the coat's appearance and keep it manageable and a bit shorter.
  • You shouldn’t overbathe your Lhasa Apso. It's best to follow a bathing schedule recommended by your groomer or vet.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Doggy member Peppa, the Lhasa Apso, lying on the floor with her plush toy behind her

Are Lhasa Apsos easy to train?

  • Lhasa Apsos have an independent nature and can be somewhat stubborn, which may present training challenges.
  • They are intelligent dogs but may exhibit a willful streak.
  • Consistent and patient training methods that focus on positive reinforcement work best with Lhasa Apsos.
  • Starting training from an early age is crucial to establish good behaviour and obedience.
  • It's important to use rewards, praise, and treats to motivate and encourage them during training sessions.
  • Keep training sessions short, fun, and engaging to prevent them from becoming bored or disinterested.
  • Early socialisation is also important to expose them to different people, animals, and environments, helping them become well-rounded and confident dogs.
  • With consistent training and patience, Lhasa Apsos can learn and excel in basic obedience commands and even advanced tricks.
Doggy member Rosie, the Lhasa Apso enjoying some time in the garden

What do Lhasa Apsos eat?

  • Lhasa Apsos should be fed a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their specific needs.
  • Choose a high-quality small dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
  • Most adult Lhasa Apsos do well being fed twice daily.
  • For Lhasa Apso puppies, it's important to provide them with a specially formulated puppy food that supports their growth and development.
  • Puppies typically require to be fed 3-4 times a day until 6 months, when this reduces to twice daily.
  • As Lhasa Apsos transition into adulthood, around 12 months old they can be fed an adult dog food.
  • Your vet can advise on the dietary needs of your individual dog.

Are Lhasa Apsos healthy?

Lhasa Apsos are generally healthy and long-lived, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some common health concerns that can occur in Lhasa Apsos include:

Bones and Joints

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) - in this condition the discs of the spine are abnormal and can slip out of place and put pressure on the spinal cord, which can lead to pain and/or paralysis
  • Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Cherry eye - this is when there is popping out of the third eyelid gland
  • Dry eye - an ongoing condition where the tear glands in the eyes don’t produce enough protective tear film, which can lead to discomfort, infections and damage of the eye
  • Glaucoma - the pressure of the eye becomes too high which can damage the eye


  • Renal Dysplasia - A developmental disorder affecting the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney failure.


  • Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation.

This list of health concerns is not exhaustive, so if you have any concerns about the health of your Lhasa Apso or want to discuss further if this breed is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Lhasa Apsos

BorrowMyDoggy has 4108 Lhasa Apso members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.

Toy Breeds Dog Breed Guides



Lhasa Apso

Long-Coated Chihuahua





Shih Tzu

Smooth Coated Chihuahua

Hey there!

Want to hear about a different kind of dog care that both you and your dog will love?

Or perhaps you’re a dog lover who can’t have one of your own right now?

We have the pawfect solution, BorrowMyDoggy!

How it works
Dog speaking